U.S. senators vow no "Faustian bargain" with Russia - RFE/RL

21:00, 31 December 2016
Politics
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Senator John McCain says that the United States will not strike a "Faustian bargain" with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid speculation that President-elect Donald Trump could scrap sanctions in a bid to improve ties, according to RFE/RL.

Photo from UNIAN

Speaking in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service in Kyiv on December 30 along with two other U.S. senators, McCain (Republican-Arizona) said any possible deal with Putin "would interfere with and undermine the freedom and democracies that exist today."

Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) said Congress would pursue in 2017 more sanctions against Russia, targeting the energy and banking sectors, as well as "Putin and his inner circle."

"We're going to do two things: We're going after Putin harder with tougher sanctions and we're going to be more helpful to our friends, like here in Ukraine," Graham said.

Read alsoMcCain brands Russia's U.S. election hack "act of war"McCain, Graham, and Amy Klobuchar (Democrat-Minnesota) said there is strong support in Congress to provide Ukraine with "lethal defensive weapons" to help Kyiv in its fight against Russia-backed separatists in the east.

Asked whether Trump may recognize Crimea as part of Russia, Graham said Congress would block any such move.

Read alsoTrump says probe should go on over possible Russian hacking, scoffs at idea of sanctions for cyberattacks"The president alone can't do this. And the reason the Congress will reject such a notion is because it undermines the rule of law," Graham explained.

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